Wednesday July 17, 2019

Alzheimer’s Linked To Improper Sleep In Elderly: Study

Staying awake for prolonged periods causes tau levels to rise.

0
//
alzheimer's, cholesterol
One hemisphere of a healthy brain (L) is pictured next to one hemisphere of a brain of a person suffering from Alzheimer disease. VOA

Poor sleep among older adults has been associated with Alzheimer’s, suggesting that good sleep habits may help preserve brain health, finds a new study.

Studying mice and people, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found that sleep deprivation increases levels of the key Alzheimer’s protein, tau.

And, in follow-up studies on mice, the team has shown that sleeplessness accelerates the spread of toxic clumps of tau, a harbinger of brain damage and decisive step along the path to dementia through the brain.

These study indicated that lack of sleep alone helps drive the disease.

alzheimer's, cholesterol
Poor sleep can predict Alzheimer’s Risk in elderly. Pixabay

Tau is normally found in the brain — even in healthy people — but under certain conditions it can clump together into tangles that injure nearby tissue and presage cognitive decline.

“The interesting thing about this study is that it suggests that real-life factors such as sleep might affect how fast the disease spreads through the brain,” said the researchers, including David Holtzman, MD from the varsity.

This study shows that sleep disruption causes the damaging protein tau to increase rapidly and to spread over time, Holtzman added.

To find out whether lack of sleep was directly forcing tau levels upward, the team measured tau levels in mice and people with normal and disrupted sleep.

Cognitive Impairment
Alzheimer’s disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s predicted that by 2050, 135 million Americans are going to suffer from mild cognitive impairment, a precursor of Alzheimer’s. VOA

Findings, published in the journal Science, showed that tau levels in the fluid surrounding brain cells were about twice as high at night, when the animals were more awake and active, than during the day, when the mice dozed more frequently.

Similarly, disturbing the mice’s rest during the day caused daytime tau levels to double.

Much the same effect was seen in people indicating that a sleepless night caused tau levels to rise by about 50 per cent, the researchers discovered.

Furthermore, staying up all night enables people sleep more the next chance they get in addition to being stressed and cranky.

Also Read: Professor Offers Students Higher Grade For More Sleep

The mice too, rebounded from a sleepless day by sleeping more later.

Hence, staying awake for prolonged periods causes tau levels to rise. Altogether, tau is routinely released during waking hours by the normal business of thinking and doing, and then this release is decreased during sleep allowing tau to be cleared away, the findings suggested.  (IANS)

Next Story

Massive Displacement in DR Congo’s Ebola-Affected Ituri Province Poses Serious Health Hazard

At least 160 people were killed during renewed clashes early last month between Lendu farmers and Hema herders

0
FILE - A woman and her children wait to receive Ebola vaccinations, in the village of Mabalako, in eastern Congo Monday, June 17, 2019. VOA

The International Organization for Migration warns massive displacement from renewed inter-ethnic fighting in DR Congo’s Ebola-affected Ituri province poses a serious health hazard.

At least 160 people were killed during renewed clashes early last month between Lendu farmers and Hema herders in Ituri province.  U.N. agencies report the violence has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and sent more than 7,500 refugees fleeing for their lives into neighboring Uganda.

The International Organization for Migration reports people who have fled the frontline of the conflict are living in abysmal conditions that create a fertile ground for the spread of disease, most worryingly Ebola.

The latest World Health Organization figures put the number of Ebola cases at 2,382, including 1,606 deaths.  The bulk of these cases and deaths are in conflict-ridden North Kivu province   About 10 percent are in Ituri.

DR Congo, Ebola, Health
The International Organization for Migration warns massive displacement from renewed inter-ethnic fighting. Pixabay

The inter-communal fighting has displaced an estimated 400,000 people.  IOM spokesman, Joel Millman, says his agency manages 12 displacement sites in Ituri’s Djugu Territory.  Thousands of people unable to cram into these overcrowded camps, he says, are sheltering in spontaneous sites.

“Poor hygiene conditions in displacement sites severely increase the risk that Ebola, as well as cholera, measles and acute respiratory diseases, will spread,” Millman said. “Many of these people are seeking assistance in Ebola-affected Bunia, where the displacement site officially called “General Hospital Site” has received more than 5,000 new Internally Displaced Persons, increasing the site’s population to 10,000 or twice its capacity.”

Millman says plans are underway to relocate many of the IDPs to a new improved settlement on land owned by Bunia’s Catholic Diocese.

He says IOM also is reinforcing its Ebola surveillance and disease prevention activities at Ituri’s Points of Entry at International borders.  Measures include hand washing, hygiene promotion, and screening travelers for possible Ebola infections.

Also Read- Budget 2019: Focus on Electric Mobility, Vehicles

On June 11, the first case of Ebola spread across the border from DRC to Uganda.  A five-year old boy and his grandmother subsequently died from the deadly virus.

Millman says IOM is working to reduce disease transmission to new areas and across borders by expanding its preparedness measures to include Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi. (VOA)